Sled Island Day Four: Spiritualized, Doug Hoyer, and St. Vincent | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Sled Island Music & Arts Festival 2014, Sled Island Music & Arts Festival 2014: Day 4, Spiritualized, St. Vincent, Doug Hoyer

Sled Island Day Four: Spiritualized, Doug Hoyer, and St. Vincent, June 21st, 2014

Jun 26, 2014 Sled Island Music & Arts Festival 2014 Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share

Although there were many impressive bands peppered throughout the week, no day of Sled Island packed quite the star power of Saturday, when St. Vincent and Spiritualized performed. St. Vincent opener Doug Hoyer was also a major highlight as well. (Let’s hear it for the little guys.)

Spiritualized had the honor of closing out the festivities at Olympic Park. Frontman (and only constant member) Jason Pierce played sitting down, tore through songs that featured both orchestral bliss and spiky noise rock—his iconic rasping voice rising above the din. The set closing fireworks seemed a little out of place. (Pierce is more about bringing the emotion through songs rather than through theatrics, which probably explains why he never speaks or stands up on stage.) But one couldn’t argue that it wasn’t a passionate performance.

Doug Hoyer was the biggest surprise of the evening. The unassuming musician from Edmonton wore a tropical shirt and dedicated a song to his wife (cue girly choruses of “awww”), basically winning him the prize of most sensitive singer/songwriter of the festival. It also didn’t hurt one bit that his playful tunes sound a bit like a Jens Lekman/Divine Comedy mashup.

Flaunting her evolution from girl next door to alien-like music purveyor, St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) closed out the festival in fine form. The nice thing about Clark is that she’s a real musician—all the smoke, mirrors, dramatic lighting in the world can’t hide the fact that she’s a remarkable talent that could hold her own on a bare stage. But for those who like their guitar pop served with a side of David Lynch, there were plenty of theatrics to be had. Clark danced onto stage, looking otherworldly in lavender cornrows and a structural dress. Lit so that her silhouette cast dramatic shadows against the back wall, she thrashed, danced, and shredded her way though songs from all four albums, giving older cuts a gritty rerub. Set closer “Your Lips Are Red” sounded downright eerie.

And so, my week came to an end on a high note. Sure I limped back to my hotel—but I did it with a huge smile on my face. A big thank you to organizers of Sled Island and the city of Calgary for the amazing week. Let’s do it again sometime, okay?






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